What Human Rights do for Speech & Protest - RightsInfo

What Human Rights do for Speech & Protest

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Speech & Protest
2011
UK

Occupy protestors didn’t have the right to occupy private property

Related European Convention Articles

A group of Occupy activists occupied a building owned by a bank. The court decided that their right to freedom of expression and assembly did not permit them to take over private property. The protestors were subsequently evicted from the premises.

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Speech & Protest
1998
Europe

Restrictions on election campaigning must be proportionate

Related European Convention Articles

An anti-abortion campaigner distributed 25,000 campaign leaflets shortly before the 1992 election. She was prosecuted for breaching the spending cap on campaign publications. The court decided that the spending cap was so disproportionate that it violated her right to freedom of expression.

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    TOP 50
    Speech & Protest
    1979
    Europe

    Newspapers have freedom to report legal cases if in the public interest

    Related European Convention Articles

    During a legal case about the Thalidomide disaster, the High Court stopped a newspaper from publishing articles in support of the victims. This violated their right to freedom of expression. The significant public interest in the matter outweighed the need to uphold an injunction.

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      Speech & Protest
      2014
      UK

      Controversial speakers may be denied entry into the UK

      Related European Convention Articles

      A dissident Iranian politician appealed the Home Secretary's decision to refuse her entry into the UK. The Home Secretary won the case. Granting entry to the politician would have posed a threat to diplomatic relations between the UK and Iran.

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        Speech & Protest
        2002
        UK

        Freedom of expression can be restricted for the sake of national security

        Related European Convention Articles

        A former intelligence officer was prosecuted for leaking secret documents to the press. He argued that the disclosure was in the public interest. However, the court decided that freedom of expression can be restricted on the grounds of national security.

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        Speech & Protest
        2005
        Europe

        Inciting hatred isn’t part of freedom of speech

        Related European Convention Articles

        A British National Party member displayed a poster outside his house containing an inflammatory statement about Islam. He was convicted of a criminal offence. Mr Noorwood argued this breached his free expression rights - his case failed.

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          Speech & Protest
          1996
          Europe

          Gratuitously offensive imagery is not protected by free speech

          Related European Convention Articles

          A film which involved erotic scenes between Jesus Christ and a nun was banned for breaking the law on blasphemy. This was a lawful restriction. The right to freedom of expression did not apply to gratuitously offensive material concerning religious figures.

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            Speech & Protest
            2003
            Europe

            Campaigners are not necessarily entitled to meet on private property

            Related European Convention Articles

            Campaigners were barred from distributing leaflets in a private shopping centre. This did not breach their right to freedom of expression. The campaigners did not have an automatic right to enter private property, nor were their ability to express speech destroyed.

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              TOP 50
              50 Cases
              1999
              UK

              Journalists must be able to interview prisoners

              Related European Convention Articles

              A blanket ban on journalists publishing interviews with prisoners was a violation of fundamental rights. Journalists must be able to expose miscarriages of justice.

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              TOP 50
              50 Cases
              2006
              UK

              Police shouldn’t have stopped war protest bus

              Related European Convention Articles

              The police stopped coach passengers from reaching the site of an anti-Iraq War demonstration. The protesters' right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly was violated. Police shouldn't have assumed they would be violent.

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                Speech & Protest
                2009
                UK

                The state can’t interfere with peaceful protest with no good reason

                Related European Convention Articles

                An activist group, which had peacefully protested near a nuclear weapons site for more than 20 years, was banned from camping near the site. This violated their right to freedom of expression.

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                Speech & Protest
                2000
                UK

                People have a right to access information from public bodies

                Related European Convention Articles

                The Freedom of Information Act obliges public authorities to publish certain information about their activities. It also permits people to request information from public authorities. However, a public authority may legally refuse to release information for a variety of reasons.

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                TOP 50
                Speech & Protest
                2006
                UK

                Police shouldn’t have stopped war protest bus

                Related European Convention Articles

                The police stopped coach passengers from reaching the site of an anti-Iraq War demonstration. The protesters' right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly was violated. Police shouldn't have assumed they would be violent.

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                Speech & Protest
                2014
                UK

                During court proceedings, a person’s identity can be made anonymous

                Related European Convention Articles

                The BBC challenged a court's decision to withhold the identity of a convicted sex offender during deportation proceedings. The court said that the BBC's right to freedom of expression was outweighed by its duty to protect the convict from violent attack.

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                  Speech & Protest
                  2005
                  Europe

                  Excessive McDonalds libel damages breached free speech rights

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  Members of a campaign group were sued for libel by McDonald's. The group had to pay excessive damages to McDonald's. They successfully challenged the decision - their right to freedom of expression was violated.

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                  TOP 50
                  50 Cases
                  1976
                  Europe

                  Offensive ideas need to be protected too

                  Related European Convention Articles

                  Mr Handyside was prosecuted for publishing "The Little Red Book", which encouraged children to rebel against social norms. The European Court supported the prosecution as protecting public morals but famously emphasised that free speech also applied to offensive ideas.

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                    TOP 50
                    Speech & Protest
                    1996
                    Europe

                    Journalists can refuse to reveal their confidential sources

                    Related European Convention Articles

                    A company wanted to force a journalist to reveal a confidential source. The journalist refused and was fined. The journalist won the case, because forcing disclosure would restrict freedom of expression

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                      Speech & Protest
                      1994
                      Europe

                      Journalists cannot be punished for disseminating statements made by others

                      Related European Convention Articles

                      A journalist was fined for including racist statements made by youths he interviewed for a documentary. The court decided that the journalist's conviction violated his right to freedom of expression.

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                        Speech & Protest
                        2009
                        Europe

                        Journalists can refuse to reveal their confidential sources

                        Related European Convention Articles

                        The FT was ordered to disclose documents identifying confidential journalistic sources to a brewing company. The sources had leaked information about a takeover bid. The FT refused to release the documents, and won their case – their right to freedom of expression was breached.

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                          Speech & Protest
                          2015
                          Europe

                          Journalists may secretly film and record other people, if it’s in best interest of the public

                          Related European Convention Articles

                          Four journalists were convicted for secretly recording and broadcasting an interview with an insurance broker. The conviction violated their right to freedom of expression. There was an overriding public interest in showing the interview, which exposed misleading advice given by insurance companies.

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                            TOP 50
                            50 Cases
                            1996
                            Europe

                            Journalists’ sources must be protected

                            Related European Convention Articles

                            A journalist was convicted of contempt of court for refusing to reveal a whistle-blowing source for a story. It was unfair to punish journalists for doing their job to protect commercial interests. After the judgment, the law was changed to better protect responsible investigative journalism.

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                              TOP 50
                              50 Cases
                              2012
                              Europe

                              Police can ‘kettle’ demonstrators to keep the peace

                              Related European Convention Articles

                              Four people were kettled (forcefully contained) in a crowd by riot police during a demonstration in Central London. The police's actions were lawful, as their purpose was to prevent an imminent breach of the peace.

                              Speech & Protest
                              2012
                              Europe

                              Offensive anti-gay speech in schools isn’t acceptable

                              Related European Convention Articles

                              Four students were convicted for distributing homophobic leaflets in a secondary school. The court decided that their right to freedom of expression was not violated.

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                              What Human Rights do for Speech & Protest
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